Conte has cigar at the ready if Chelsea complete double

Date published: Saturday 27th May 2017 11:17 - Rob McCarthy

Antonio Conte will allow himself a proper celebration if Chelsea see off Arsenal in the FA Cup final on Saturday.

The Italian manager and his players are one win at Wembley away from achieving the second double in the club’s history.

The Premier League title was secured with a record 30 victories, but Conte said his celebrations amounted only to saying ‘cheers’ over dinner with his staff.

Should his players triumph on Saturday, though, the Chelsea boss admitted he might afford himself some extravagance.

“We have to finish this great season and make it a fantastic season,” Conte said.

“There’s only one way to do that, by winning and celebrating, to drink a bit of champagne.

“I don’t smoke but I’m hoping to smoke a cigar if we win. I’m ready to do this.”

Standing in Chelsea’s way are Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal, who go into the game on the back of failing to finish in the top four for the first time during the Frenchman’s reign.

Newspaper reports claim both managers will sign new deals at their respective clubs whatever the outcome of Saturday’s game.

Wenger’s future has been the subject of much speculation during the campaign, with a section of Arsenal supporters calling for his 21-year reign to come to an end.

Even winning the FA Cup for a record seventh time would not convince some he is the right man but Wenger insists his decision will be what is right for the club and not what is the most popular option.

“One of the big problems in the modern society is that the big companies sit there not any more to make the decisions that are good for the company but is it popular or not? I don’t care about that,” Wenger said.

“I just want to always make a decision. Is it right or is it wrong? Is it good or not? All the rest for me is artificial debate. So I don’t care too much about all the rest.”
One man hoping Wenger will stay is Conte, who thinks the Arsenal boss is “one of the best managers in history”.

“For sure, I don’t trust that (the final) will be the last game for Arsene,” Conte said.

“I think he deserves to work with Arsenal because he showed, in these 20 years, he is a good manager. He did a good job.

“When you stay for a long time at the same team – we’re talking about a great team, not a small team – we must consider him like one of the best managers in history.”

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